Our panel of speakers from Belgium, France and Ireland will offer different national perspectives on issues arising for lawyers seeking to provide legal services outside of their home jurisdictions, especially in the light of the Trade & Cooperation Agreement now in place between the EU and the United Kingdom. What will change as a result of this post-Brexit deal? What other issues need to be considered by lawyers seeking to expand their cross-border practice and navigate the national rules in EU Member States that place different limits on the services that can be provided?
Peter Callens is the president of the Order of Flemish Bars, which is the regulatory and representative body of the Dutch-language Bars of Flanders and Brussels. He is the immediate past president of the Brussels Bar (Dutch-language section). He is also an Honorary Master of the Bench at Gray’s Inn. He has been a practising advocate since 1982. He is currently Of Counsel to Loyens & Loeff, the firm in which he was a partner until 2019. His current practice is in the area of dispute resolution, with a focus on international commercial arbitration, after a few decades of legal practice in mergers and acquisitions (private and public), joint ventures, private equity investments and other corporate transactions.
Louis Bernard Buchman is a former chair of the European and International Affairs Commission of the French National Bar Council and of the International Legal Services Committee of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of the European Union (CCBE). He is also a former vice-president of the French Business Lawyers Association and a former council member of the Paris Bar. He has been an avocat in Paris since 1974 and an attorney-at-law in New York since 1989. He founded lexforce in January 2019 after more than a decade as a partner at Fieldfisher LLP. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators as well as an accredited mediator and has participated in more than 45 international arbitrations as counsel or arbitrator and several international mediations.
Paul McGarry SC was chairman of the Bar of Ireland from July 2016 to July 2018. He was called to the Bar in 1996 and took silk in 2010. He has been a member of the Bar of England and Wales since 2012. He was elected a bencher of King’s Inns in 2016 and a master of the bench at Middle Temple in 2018. His practice is primarily in European, public and commercial law, and he is an accredited mediator and international arbitrator. Paul has served on the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board, the Courts Service Board, the Euro Changeover Board, the Board of Irish Rail and the International Council for Advocates and Barristers. He was head of the Irish delegation to the Council of European Bars and Law Societies (2014–2020) and co-chair of the IBA Forum for Advocates and Barristers (2018–2020).
Hugh Mercer QC practises from Essex Court Chambers in London, Solutio Avocats in Brussels/Louvain-la-Neuve, and the cross-border network Alphalex Avocats. He was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1985, took silk in 2008 and is a Bencher of Middle Temple. He sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Queen’s Bench Division and the Administrative Court. He specialises in litigation involving issues of EU law (including retained EU law), public or private international law, foreign law and public law. He is chair of the Future Relationship (formerly Brexit) Working Group of the Bar of England and Wales and Head of the UK Delegation to the CCBE. He is a former leader of the European Circuit (2017-2019) and former chair of the CCBE EU Lawyers Committee (2015-2020) and the CCBE Permanent Delegation to the CJEU (2010–2015).